In 2003, a customer at our Berkeley store asked one of our staff members if the soy lecithin we carried was Non-GMO (free of genetically modified ingredients). He did not know. That “not knowing” sparked a movement to find out more. Together with 161 grocery stores and co-ops throughout the United States, a letter-writing campaign to manufacturers of natural food products and supplements in the U.S. began. The goal was to discover the GMO status of products, so that the stores’ consumers could be offered an informed choice. In 2005, we teamed up with the Big Carrot Natural Food Market (pioneers in the non-GMO movement) to form the Non-GMO Project, to create a standardized meaning of non-GMO for the North American food industry. We began working with the Global ID Group, the world’s leaders in non-GMO testing, certification, and consulting. Thus, the Non-GMO Project was born. As instrumental leaders we feel customers should be offered an informed choice about the products they purchase. Every October we celebrate Non-GMO month to raise awareness and highlight the products we are proud to carry.
You can support non-GMO producers by looking for the Non-GMO Project seal or our green shelf tag.
Fun fact: The Organic Consumer Association recognized us as one of twelve “Diligent Dozen” grocers across the nation for promoting the right to know about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in products.